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Lies, Damn Lies, and False Rape Statistics

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A rather angry and somewhat incoherent rant about rampant “misandry” on college campuses spurred both editorial concern and heated “discussion” at OpEd News yesterday.

The article was primarily founded on the false statistic that nearly half of all reported rape cases are false. As Mark Twain might say: “lies, damned lies and false rape statistics”. Indeed, the statistics are just the opposite - that the vast majority of rapes and attempted rapes go unreported by the victims who are almost always female.

Clearly, many women who are subjected to such violence would rather avoid long legal battles and what they perceive as a hostile legal system that will attempt to turn the case against them rather than the perpetrator.

Even a quick perusal of domestic violence statistics in the United States indicates that women are victimized by the hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions every year, often by family members under the influence of alcohol.

Recent reports of widespread violence against women serving in the military are another sad example of how most rapes, assaults and violence against women are not reported to authorities. 

The idea that many men are languishing in prisons for rapes they did not commit is absurd on its face. Indeed many men who repeatedly perpetrate domestic violence at home never go to prison, and never face any penalties whatsoever for their egregious behavior.

The idea that America, and American college campuses, have become bastions of “misandry” is beyond ludicrous and needs no further comment. If you base an entire article on false statistics, then the rest of the article can be pretty much discounted.

I might suggest that if you have issues with women's groups on campuses that you do something constructive about it, go and talk with them, see what their point of view is, rather than writing angry, inaccurate articles and posting them on websites.

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John R. Moffett PhD is a research neuroscientist in the Washington, DC area. Dr. Moffett's main area of research focuses on the brain metabolite N-acetylaspartate, and an associated genetic disorder known as Canavan disease.

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